July 16, 2012 - Long-Exposure Lagoon

Long-Exposure Lagoon The constellation Sagittarius lies in the direction of the center of our Milky Way galaxy, the thickest, densest region of stars and deep sky objects anywhere. One of the larger objects here is the Lagoon Nebula (M8), an emission nebula that appears as wide as three full Moons side by side. M8 is a stellar nursery, where new stars are forming out of a collapsing cloud of hydrogen. The ultraviolet radiation from these young stars ionizes the gas, causing it to glow. Visible in binoculars on a clear night as a pale grey cloud, M8 reveals its true colors in long-exposure photographs like this one by R. Jay GaBany. Jay collected a total of forty-five hours of data with a digital imager attached to a remote-controlled half-meter (twenty-inch) diameter Ritchey-Chrétien telescope located in New Mexico.

Image credit: R. Jay GaBany / www.Cosmotography.com

Weekly Calendar

July 16-22, 2012

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

Moon phase Monday 16

1969: Apollo 11 launched
1994: First fragment of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts Jupiter
2011: Dawn spacecraft enters orbit around Vesta

Moon phase Tuesday 17

1850: John Adams Whipple takes first stellar photograph (Vega)
1970: Final HL-10 lifting body flight
1975: Apollo-Soyuz dock in orbit
1984: Soyuz T-12 launched, 100th human space flight

Moon phase Wednesday 18

1921: John Glenn born
Gemini X launched
1980: India becomes seventh nation to launch its own satellite

Moon phase Thursday 19

New Moon 12:24 AM ET
Juno appears stationary

1846: Edward Pickering born
1967: Explorer 35 launched
1985: NASA selects Christa McAuliffe as first teacher to travel in space

Moon phase Friday 20

1969: Apollo 11 astronauts become first humans walk on Moon
1976: Viking 1 lands on Mars
1999: Liberty Bell 7 capsule recovered from Atlantic Ocean after 38 years

Moon phase Saturday 21

1961: Liberty Bell 7 suborbital flight; capsule sinks in Atlantic Ocean
1969: Apollo 11 lunar module Eagle lifts off from Moon

Moon phase Sunday 22

1784: Friedrich Bessel born
1994: Last fragment of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impacts Jupiter

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.